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Are you looking for vacation destination that is beautiful, exotic, and more importantly, great for families? Then American Samoa is perfect for you! Here are 10 of the best things to do with kids in American Samoa.
- What and Where is American Samoa?
- Why Visit American Samoa?
- Best Things to Do With Kids in American Samoa
- 1. Visit the National Park Service Visitor’s Center
- 2. Drive the island from end to end.
- 3. Take in the views at Turtle & Shark.
- 4. Hike Blunt’s Point.
- 5. Listen to the Talking Rocks of Vatia.
- 6. Play in the water at Utulei Beach.
- 7. Learn about the Samoan culture on Aunu’u.
- 8. Splash around at Fatumafuti.
- 9. Enjoy a picnic at Larson’s Cove.
- 10. Have a beach day at $2 Beach.
What and Where is American Samoa?
American Samoa is actually a U.S. Territory made up of 5 small islands in the South Pacific. It is located about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. And it is an amazing place for families to visit!
Why Visit American Samoa?
First, the unspoiled natural beauty of these islands provides some of the most breathtaking views in the world.
Second, because of its small size, remoteness, and lack of a real tourism industry, it boasts some of the most secluded beaches and hiking trails you will ever come across.
Third, the people of American Samoa are generous, warm, and friendly. And family is one of the most important things to them.
Lastly, it is one of the safest places in the world.
While it is expensive to get to American Samoa, you are sure to have the trip of a lifetime once you arrive.
Best Things to Do With Kids in American Samoa
1. Visit the National Park Service Visitor’s Center
There is a United States National Park in American Samoa, which encompasses a large portion of the rainforest and several marine sanctuaries around the island.
The National Park Visitor’s Center, located in Pago Pago is a great place to start your island vacation. While you pick up some maps and talk to the park rangers, your kids can take in all of the 3D models of the island and its wildlife.
If you have a National Parks passport, you can get it stamped at the Visitor’s Center too. For more information, visit their website.
2. Drive the island from end to end.
Tutuila, the main island in American Samoa, is about 3 miles wide and 25 miles long. There is one main road that runs the length of the island. To get a good overview of the island, take a drive from one end to the other.
The drive will reward you with great views and show you just how diverse this place is. You can drive the entire island in a couple hours.
3. Take in the views at Turtle & Shark.
One of my favorite things to do with kids in American Samoa is to visit Turtle & Shark. It is one of the most picturesque places in the world!
This rocky shoreline is a peaceful lookout where you can feel one with the world. The only word to describe Turtle & Shark is breathtaking.
While you stand in awe of the power of the ocean, your kids will love jumping in the puddles caused by the waves crashing on the rocks.
You can find it in the village of Vaitogi on the west side of Tutuila.
4. Hike Blunt’s Point.
Blunt’s Point is a wonderful hike to do with kids. It’s not too steep or difficult. This is one of our favorite hikes on the island.
About a quarter mile into the hike, you will reach the first of two WWII naval guns which are mounted on the side of the mountain. The site of this first gun will give you gorgeous bird’s eye views of the harbor and Fatumafuti.
If your kids are anything like my son, they will love playing with the gun. Further up the trail, you will reach the second gun, but the views aren’t as great.
The entire trail is about 3 miles long and will take you approximately 2 hours to complete. The well-marked trail is located in the rainforest, so you will be in the shade almost the entire time.
5. Listen to the Talking Rocks of Vatia.
Another one of my favorite things to do with kids in American Samoa is to visit the “talking rocks”.
This is a feast for the eyes, but its real magic lies in its sounds.
After a few minutes of listening to the waves crash on the rocks, you will begin to hear the rocks “chattering” among themselves. It is actually a clattering sound the rocks make as they fall back down when the waves recede, but it sounds like they are talking. It is fascinating to adults and kids alike.
Drive up and over the mountain to the village of Vatia on the north side of the island.
At the far end of the village, follow the road into the rainforest until you come to a clearing with some National Park signs. Park and walk the last tenth of a mile down the trail to the rocky shoreline.
6. Play in the water at Utulei Beach.
Because Utulei Beach is in the protected harbor, it is a fun place for families to play in the water without having to fight the waves.
There is plenty of space to spread out here too. This is a perfect area to swim. And you may even see a sea turtle!
For extra fun, visit South Pacific Watersports, located right on the beach, to rent kayaks, paddle boards, or snorkel gear. They also have lifejackets if you need them.
And when you build up an appetite, enjoy a delicious meal at DDW Cafe, which is right next door to South Pacific Watersports.
7. Learn about the Samoan culture on Aunu’u.
One of the best things to do with kids in American Samoa is to take a tour of Aunu’u. Just off the eastern end of Tutuila is the tiny island of Aunu’u. Not only is it beautiful, but it is also one of the best ways to experience and learn about the Samoan culture.
To experience the best of what Aunu’u has to offer, book a tour with Peter Taliv’a. Not only will Peter give you a guided tour of the island, but he will teach you about Samoan culture, show you the taro plantations, and make you a traditional feast. You can find Peter on Facebook.
You can get to Aunu’u by ferry, which leaves from the boat dock at Amouli.
8. Splash around at Fatumafuti.
Fatumafuti is one of the best beaches on Tutuila for families. Located on the main road, it is easy to find and easy to reach.
The water here is usually pretty calm, so it is a good spot for little ones to splash around. Older kids will enjoy playing on the rocks. This is a great spot for snorkeling too.
9. Enjoy a picnic at Larson’s Cove.
One of the hidden gems of American Samoa is Larson’s Cove. This beautiful beach is not easy to find, but once you do, you will more than likely have it all to yourselves.
The easiest way to find this one is to get a local to show you.
If you decide to try and find it on your own, then travel past Turtle & Shark down a small and rough road. When the road becomes impassable, ask permission to park at someone’s house and hike another 30 minutes or so.
You will go through a banana and taro plantation and then down a moderate include. After that, you will find the stairs leading down to the cove.
Larson’s Cove has some of the best sand on the island. It is soft and white, perfect for lounging and enjoying a picnic.
The water here is calm and pretty shallow, which is great if you have small children. You can’t find a more secluded and beautiful spot in the world!
10. Have a beach day at $2 Beach.
If you prefer your beach to have less hiking and more indoor plumbing, then look no further than $2 Beach on the east side of Tutuila.
Unlike the other activities on this list, you will have to pay an admission price of $5 per person to use $2 Beach. However, that price gets you indoor bathrooms (with shower) and a limited bar/snack bar.
There are also a couple small fales and picnic tables for use on a first come, first serve basis (unless you want to pay to reserve one).
You will find plenty of sand for building castles or playing volleyball and a good area for swimming too.
American Samoa may be remote, but it is one of the best places to visit with kids. It has unspoiled natural beauty without large crowds, and the people are very welcoming.
The ten activities on this list are some of the best that the island has to offer for families. You can experience most of these things without other people crowding in on your family time.
If you are looking for a vacation in a tropical paradise that is kid-friendly, American Samoa should be at the top of your list! I hope this list of 10 things to do with kids in American Samoa helps you plan your next family adventure!